Pack your next carnival with these 100 ideas for a Fall Family Festival from children’s ministry leaders–just like you.
Treasure Box-Kids dig for prizes in a sand-filled aquarium. (William Pesata)
Gospel Sing-Have a talent show on a flatbed truck. (WP)
Door Prizes-As they enter, participants get tickets for a drawing held later. (WP)
Jonah and the Big Fish-Decorate a refrigerator box to look like a big fish. Hang moss on the top inside of the box. Use a red light inside and have “Jonah” tell his story. (WP)
Candy Grab-Kids get one chance to grab all the candy they can out of a bucket. (WP)
Swirl Painting-Kids make art designs from a swirl painting kit-available at toy stores. (WP)
Nurse’s Station-Children get their pulse rate, weight, and height done by a uniformed nurse. (Loretta Bueckert)
Computer Printout-Kids get printouts with their name and its meaning (taken from baby name books). (LB)
Karaoke Singing-Have an adult play the piano. Kids sing their choice of song on a little stage, complete with a microphone. (LB)
Nail Painting-Older girls paint kids’ nails. (LB)
Treasure Dig-Kids dig around in a kiddie pool filled with plastic foam packing peanuts and small toys. (Amy Brown)
Family Photo Booth-Families pose for instant-print photos. Then place photos in kid-decorated frames. (Cathy Gould)
Live Reformers-Costumed Martin Luther, John Calvin, or John Knox give brief presentations about what happened in their lifetimes. (CG)
Bean the Philistine-Kids sling small beanbags at a life-size plywood cutout of Goliath. (Marilyn Marsh)
Pin the Thesis-Have “Martin Luther” talk with children before blindfolding and spinning each one. Then each child tapes a pre-printed “thesis” to a door. (Diane Ritchie)
Ring It-Children toss embroidery hoops over empty two-liter bottles arranged similar to bowling pins on the floor. (DR)
Ring It Again-Kids toss hoops at prizes set up on tables or boxes. Prizes include bubbles, soft drinks, and small toys. (DR)
Muffin Pan Toss-Kids toss 10 pennies into a muffin tin with numbered holes; pieces of felt in the bottom of the tin keep pennies from bouncing out. (Sandra Klinsing)
The Mummy Wrap-One player is the “wrapper,” the other is the “wrappee.” Racing against time, the wrapper wraps the wrappee with an entire roll of toilet paper. (Ellynne Wiebe)
The Carpenter’s Crew-Each player is given a hammer and a board with three already started nails. On go, the carpenter is given 30 seconds to hammer as many nails as possible. (EW)
This Little Light of Mine-Each player receives two filled squirt guns. Standing 3 feet away from three lit candles, kids try to extinguish the candles before running out of water. (EW)
Knock It Off-Kids use water guns to knock pingpong balls off tops of soft drink bottles.
Blow and Go Race-Four children race on the floor using party blowers to blow pingpong balls to a finish line. (Karen Claunch)
Pingpong Blow-Teams of three compete to blow pingpong balls to the other end of a table, using drinking straws.
Pumpkin Sweep-Children sweep a small pumpkin along a taped course on the floor. Kids can race against each other or against time. (KC)
Creation Station–Kids create art with this “putty”: Stir 4 tablespoons of glue and a few drops of food coloring in a bowl. Add a few teaspoons of dissolved borax water solution. Stir. Then squeeze it like dough. Provide water for washing hands and plastic bags for the putty. (Keith Wilson)
Exploration Point-Fill a sandbox with objects to tell a Bible story. Give kids toy shovels to dig out the objects. Then tell them the story. (KW)
Can Alley-Cut out one side of a big box. Hang soft drink cans from strings inside the box. Kids shoot at the cans with Nerf guns. (KW)
Music Videos-Set up a camcorder so it’ll play through a television. Kids pick their wardrobes from old clothes and wigs. Kids then lip-sync to Christian music while watching themselves on TV. (KW)
Gummy Fun-Set out two paper plates for each child. Fill one plate with Gummy Worms. Pour Hershey’s syrup over the candy. With hands behind their backs, children pick up the candy with their mouths and set it on their empty plates. (Cheryl Russell)
Super Hero Story Tent-Every half-hour, a creative storyteller tells a different Bible story. A poster clock outside the tent shows the next story time.-(Kandi Elliott, Nancy Hastings, and Gail Vindas)
Noah’s Super Boat Race-Fill capped, plastic rain gutters with colored water and lay them on parallel tables. Give children small plastic boats to blow the length of the gutters. (KE, NH, GV)
Moses‘ Super Journey Obstacle Course-Children experience the Israelite’s journey by running through sprinklers, eating graham cracker manna, carrying cardboard tablets over sturdy step ladders, pushing through oversize grape clusters of purple balloons, fighting giant cardboard cutouts with bed pillows, and running through streamers to the Promised Land where they receive compasses. (KE, NH, GV)
Jonah’s Super Soaker-Children run through a revolving sprinkler head, then crawl under a table draped with blue sheets. Lay plastic sheeting under the table and cover it with cooked spaghetti. Stake a whale painted with gaping jaws against the table. Tape clear plastic to the whale to keep it dry. (KE, NH, GV)
Moses‘ Super Cake Walk-Instead of numbers, use the 10 plagues to mark your cake walk. Children walk the circle as music plays. When the music stops, the child closest to the drawn plague wins the cake. (KE, NH, GV)
Basketball Shoot-Kids toss a basketball through a PlaySkool hoop.
Water Sponge Toss-Kids toss a sponge at a person peeking through a plywood cutout.
Water Sponge Toss Too-Kids toss sponges into lined up buckets.
Dunking Booth-Put your church staff and teachers in a rented dunking booth.
Face Painting–Decorate kids’ faces.
Putt Putt Golf-Kids play through a miniature course.
Floating Ducks-Kids pick up plastic ducks from a wading pool. The number on the duck corresponds to a prize.
Sucker Tree-Kids pull suckers from a Pegboard. The color of the sucker handle corresponds to a prize.
Bowling-Kids play with a plastic bowling set.
Clown Wearing Pockets-A clown gives away prizes hidden in his or her clothes pockets.
MASH Unit-Kids get bandaged up-complete with fake blood.
Milk Can Toss-Kids toss softballs at milk cans or empty 2-liter bottles.
Football Toss-Kids toss a football through a hanging, swinging tire.
Dart Throw-Kids throw darts at balloons on a cork board.
Caricature Drawings-A resident artist draws pictures of kids and parents.